Erik Ten Hag – New dawn for United?

Sean Conlon

Erik Ten Hag at Manchester United

Manchester United’s glory days are well behind them now, and despite the clubs’ best efforts to find
a new manager to make it all click again none have come close to a fraction of the success that Sir
Alex Ferguson achieved. Erik Ten Hag has been tasked with changing this.

With the arrival of the Dutch man, fans have been promised the start of a new era for the club. New marquee signings including Casemiro, Antony, Martinez and Eriksen certainly gave fans a glimmer of
hope for the future. Ten Hag arrived and identified the problems in midfield and defence and
instantly set out to fix them.

Despite a promising pre-season, opening defeats to Brighton and a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of
Brentford in the Premier League had fans questioning Ten Hag’s plans from the start. Following the
defeats, it was clear the players weren’t up for the task that Ten Hag had set them and he made that
clear in his interviews.

A change in the squad in the following games mainly consisting of Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw
rotating out of the main team while Martinez and Malacia entered the fray, saw United defeat Liverpool 2-1 which began their recent turn in form winning five of their last six games.

The change in players has given the team a boost with Martinez, Eriksen and Rashford all putting in
standout performances so far this season. Ten Hag has made it clear to his players that if they don’t
work or train hard, they won’t play as we see with his treatment of Cristiano Ronaldo. His ruthlessness of dropping the club captain in Harry Maguire and one of the greatest players of all time in Ronaldo shows the rest of the team the sheer amount of work they must do to remain in the side. The turnaround in Rashford’s form is the biggest indicator of Ten Hags plan working and its clear the players are buying into what he is trying to get across to them.

The addition of Casemiro, although maybe not a long-term solution is exactly what United’s midfield
have needed for years. A true bruiser in the middle of the park that you know will win you the ball,
protect the defence and allow a rejuvenated Eriksen to work his magic alongside him with no

These new additions along with the addition of Antony have given the team more
composure on the ball and goal threats from multiple players which is something that has clearly
been missed in years just gone by.

It remains to be seen whether Erik Ten Hag will bring United back to the heights of winning the
Champions League and Premier League, but so far, it’s clear the changes he has brought in have had a
massive impact on the team’s mentality and quality on the pitch.

Manchester United fans should have great excitement for the season ahead.

Sean Conlon

Image Credit: Getty Images